The Secret to a Long Happy Life

What do these gentlemen have in common? 

Have you heard 60 is the new 50?  As long as I’ve taken my Aleve and I don’t look in the mirror, I have no issues with this premise. If you are over 50 tell me you aren’t looking for ways to feel and look younger?  I have to admit I’m border line obsessive about it.  They said Boomers would go into old age kickin and screamin which is quite different than the generation before us. I think our parents were more accepting of the aging experience than we are. Here are a few stats from a recently completed study on The Anti-aging Market that substantiate my point:

Albany, NY, May 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A New Report Titled “Anti-aging Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2013 – 2019“. The anti-aging market is poised for a healthy compounded annual growth rate of 7.8% between 2013 and 2019 and is projected to be worth USD 191.7 billion by 2019.

I say, throw out the wrinkle cream, stop spending on on lifts, tucks and other gravity defying trickery.   Bag the Botox.  I have the secret…

Laugh more.

The people who do research on the benefits of laughter will tell you the following:

good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

While the research is not extensive it is compelling. Actually I don’t need no stinking research.  I’ve got plenty of proof that laughter is the best medicine.

Take the other night for example.  Susan and I went out to dinner with her 92 year old Dad who we lovingly refer to as Paw Paw.  Recently he lost his wife of 67 years and we weren’t sure how he’d respond.  As one might imagine it’s been a very sad time with plenty of tears shed.

After dinner at Outback, we returned to Paw Paw’s crib which is still loaded with stuff that was near and dear to Grandma’s heart. The place is “Knick Knacks R Us”.  Whenever we visit, my father-in-law tries to get us to walk away with something.  As you might imagine there are quite a few worthless relics that have been collected over the years including an owl that was stuffed and mounted in 1919. Not exactly something you’ll see at a Sotheby’s auction anytime soon.  Along the same lines, Paw Paw’s Dad had a fish head mounted on a small plaque (circa 1920).  Yes just the head. I use the term “mounted” loosely. It was secured to the plaque by a single nail.

The conversation eventually turned away from this vintage taxidermy to several paintings that are hanging on the living room wall.  They are so stunning I’d never noticed them until that night.  Of course Paw Paw wants us to have one.  When I didn’t jump for joy over his generous offer without hesitation he said, “I’ll throw in the fish head!”  Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are.  Susan and I were rolling. The best was watching Paw Paw laughing so hard I thought he was going to fall off his chair. That moment alone cements my theory about laughter.  I keep telling Susan he’s going to live to be 104.  If you ever have the opportunity to meet him you’ll instantly understand why.

In case you aren’t convinced based on my Father-In-Law research I included the pictures above. For anyone over 40 these faces should be familiar.   If you haven’t figured out what they have in common I will tell you… They are all comedians and they all lived (or are still living) into their 90’s.     They all laughed a lot and lived a long time.  (For names and ages click on each pic!)

The moral to my story is this… Figure out a way to laugh every day.  If you aren’t funny hang out with somebody who is.  Watch America’s Funniest Home Videos, an old episode of Seinfeld or tune into Laugh USA.  Whatever it takes to create laughter do it.  With all the crap going on in our world  it’s pretty easy to go days and even weeks without laughing.  Don’t let this happen to you especially if you want to live a long, happy life!




About Culturedude

President of The Jeff and Bryce Fan Club, head cheerleader for my wife, Susan, lucky devoted brother of Beth and Barbara, perennial pal of the Bunko Squad, passionate customer service advocate, forever loyal fan of the Yankees, Packers, Buckeyes and Wildcats. favorite pastimes: writing, public speaking, golf, cartooning, reading, playing and blogging!
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